NO MORE GINO

We had just emerged from the Metropolitan Museum, blinking in the sunlight, and we felt a sudden urge to drink heavily. And my Brooklyn friends Amanda and Lydia knew just the place. Giino, they assured us, would give us a taste of the real Manhattan, and boy were they right. A long, dark little place with the strangest wall decor I've ever seen: zebras prancing on a field of intense red. And the bar was well-stocked with wonderful New York characters, who patiently indulged us in a little out-of-town gawking.

Yesterday I read in the New Yorker, in a Talk of the Town piece by Gay Talese, that Gino was about to close. Their landlord was raising their rent by $8000 a month. To a Norfolkian, such a statement is akin to hearing that two Martians have landed at the Hardee's on Colonial and are turning sausage biscuits into interstellar fuel pellets. I alerted Lydia, who rushed over to Lexington and 61st, but they were already gone.  I had been reading the May 31st New Yorker! I can't keep up with the damn things.

BRIGHTON BEACH

Popeye Doyle chased some surrender monkeys down this stretch, I'm told. Or, to be more accurate, Gene Hackman. Or, to be even more accurate, a stunt driver pretending to be Gene Hackman pretending to be Popeye Doyle. Not that being accurate has anything to do with blogging. Apparently it's been Written, by whoever does the Writing these days, that bloggers are going to be our source for news in the near future. We're all fucked, you know that, right? We're going to know all there is to know about Michael Jackson's enlarged probate and Obama's secret basement Muslim temple and Susan Boyle and Jon and Kate and nothing about why the economy collapsed. Kind of like now, I guess. News organizations are abdicating their place in society. Cable news has become a noisy freak show. Give a hundred monkeys a hundred megaphones and they'll eventually come up with the Fox News channel. How will we ever produce another Edward R. Murrow when immoral assholes like Geraldo Rivera and Glen Beck are considered worthy of a soapbox on national tv? Sorry, I'll go take my meds now.

FIRE ISLAND DECK

If I were ever given the task of torturing someone, and although the call hasn't come yet you never know, what I would do is I would strip them down to their skivvies, throw them to the ground and subject them to intense heat until they gave me bin Laden's street address, and if that didn't work, I would throw in clouds of mosquitos and maybe a boombox playing Eye of The Tiger. Just so you know where I was coming from when Amanda pranced into the room screaming "Fire Island! Fire Island! Fire Island!" At first, thinking she was raising an alarm, I frantically looked for the nearest exit. Then, when I realized what she was suggesting, I looked for the nearest exit with increased urgency. But cooler heads prevailed, and we hit the expressway, only to discover that 4,507,989 other New Yorkers had been struck by the very same impulse. After three or four days, we arrived at the ferry with only one soiled diaper and no left-coast vomit, for which we were grateful, and soon found ourselves in paradise, new york style. And here the snarkiness ends, because it was really quite nice. Good food, wine, and conversation was provided by A & J's friend Tory. It was great fun walking the little boardwalks and sitting on midnight beaches and whatnot. So I'm still not a beach person, but I'll make an exception like that any time. I guess nature in small doses can't hurt. Plus now I know every Michael Jackson joke that ever was.

BRIGHTON BEACH, or PEPPERLAND

 As in Lucy, that is. These fine folks would give the Portuguese babes a run for their money. Please understand, I have nothing but admiration for people who are so comfortable with themselves that they have no qualms about letting it all hang out. I, on the other hand, was fully clothed and sweltering. Check Velvetina's flickr page for more of these beauties--but not quite yet. Somebody needed a nap.

FARMERS' MARKET

 I wish I ate more vegetables, I really do. They look so damn healthy. Sometimes I get carried away and buy a bunch of firm, shiny, multi-colored vegetables, and then when I get home I realize I have to prepare them. I'm not big on preparation. Although I have to admit I'm a whiz at broccoli. The secret to broccoli is cooking it just the precisely correct amount of time. Crisp and green-tasting, but not tough. My mother was a middle-class Merkin cook, which meant that you overcook broccoli, until it's mushy and mildly stinky. I never realized until I grew up that it could taste good. So what you do is steam it just the right amount of time, toss it with some butter melted with minced garlic, and squeeze  a lemon over it. Man, that's some good eatin right there. I just had an intrusive memory. The video to Pair of Brown Eyes shows a guy's eye popping out and rolling on the ground, and then a dog trots over and eats it. Now I'm not hungry any more. I suppose that's a good thing.

Larger here.

NEW YORKERS

 Well, now. I was at MoMA today, and I ventured into one of their fancy-schmancy cafés and ordered pennette with asiago and a red chile crust, which sounded kind of good. You know what it was? Macaroni and cheese! They must of thought I was some rube from the sticks and they'd have a little fun with me. Show me some New York-style hospitality. They must of been peeking out of that little round window in the kitchen door and chortling about how they put one over on the hayseed. Well, the joke's on them. Um, I have no justification whatsoever for saying that, it just makes me feel better. Anyway, d'Egg's mac and cheese beats the snooty egghead New Yorkers' hands down. So there.

DAUNTED & UNDAUNTED

 Some times it is to thinking that too many choices propel each to you. It requires you marching toward goal, to be setting by stranger. Deciding bad, she pronounces failing. Deciding well, she to gave another map-drawing for goal is increase in distant. Time of oftening, it doesn't known be, bad or well? To the goal, or falling holeward? Perhap goal manifest into plunging, no end. We doesn't now. If we accident discovering how it mean, on the bench we sit again to end.